Starting Gate pub, Milton Keynes


#1

I came across posts on what I presume is a previous site from people wondering if the Starting Gate in Milton Keynes existed and where it was.
It did indeed exist. It was in North Row near Secklow Gate. I lived round the corner in North Ninth St from 1980-83 so it was my local.
It had two bars. As expected in MK it was a new building and both bars were very big by British pub standards. One was a lounge bar and the other a public bar. Both bars were frequented by British motorcycle enthusiasts, the public bar particularly so. Bands played in the public bar and it was often absolutely jam packed. I can remember Marillion playing there many times and often had conversations with band members - they were a friendly bunch. It was a no frills pub and the band had to get changed in the men’s dunny (toilet). It had something of a reputation as being rough - often two or three hundred, or so it seemed, motorbikes were parked outside. Members of several different motorcycle clubs would drink at the pub but there was very little trouble there as none wore patches inside. There was a nearby office block with a very large courtyard in the middle and the regulars put on a concert there one Sunday with several bands - not sure if Marillion played at that one - the liquid refreshments having made my memories a little fuzzy. It was a good pub with a good crowd and did the traditional British pub things like darts and pool. I still have the trophy I won as part of the pool team which won the local pub league competition.


#2

Came across this by chance, and wondered if I knew you. I frequented the 'Gate from 1980 until it shut, and was in the Pool Team too. I am Ray, and in those years I had a ponytail. Yes, I know, many others did too!
After closure, the gigs and bikers transfered to the Peartree Bridge Centre, which also shut in about '86, soon demolished and replaced by grotty housing.


#3

Just to add, it was a great atmosphere and rough, yes, but also free from the pretention seen in other new MK pubs!